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Diabetes Basics

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A National Epidemic

The statistics are alarming…

  • Diabetes affects 29.1 million people, or 9.3% of the US population.
  • Of these, 21 million people are diagnosed, and another 8.1 million people or 27.8% of people affected by diabetes are undiagnosed.
  • Among US residents aged 65 years and older, 11.8 million, or 25.9%, had diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Each year, the costs for diabetes, its complications, and associated diseases continue to rise. In addition to the tremendous toll diabetes takes on individuals and families, diabetes has a significant impact in the workplace. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medial expenditures that are more than 2 times higher than those without diabetes. The national cost of diabetes in the United States in 2012 was more than $245 billion, up from $174 billion in 2007.

Employers are in a unique position to address diabetes through prevention and management education. Employees spend more than one third of their lives at work and are more likely to participate in health education, nutrition, and exercise activities offered in the workplace. Everyone benefits when employers work with their employees who have diabetes, or are at risk for the disease, to improve productivity and lower health costs, as well as help employees stay in good physical and mental health.

Learn more about how many people in your community have diabetes at the CDC Information Site.

Aids & Tools

Know More

  1. Using the CDC Interactive Atlas allows the user to view data and trends for diagnosed diabetes (new and existing cases), obesity, and leisure-time physical inactivity at national, state, and county levels.
  2. Use the National Diabetes Fact Sheet to learn about new cases of diabetes, diabetes prevalence, diabetes related deaths and diabetes related complications.
  3. Use the State Diabetes Surveillance Data to monitor diabetes trends for your state.

Ask More

  1. Where can I learn more about the number of people in my community, state or region who have diabetes?
    Answer:
    Learn more at the Interactive Diabetes Data or checkout the CDC Diabetes Snapshot [PDF - 1.1 MB] for more general information about the number of people affected by diabetes.
  2. We have many older employees. Are they at higher risk of developing diabetes? Is diabetes management different for them?
    Answer:
    Learn more about the incidence and treatment of diabetes in older adults from the following organizations:
  3. We have many African American employees, are they at higher risk of developing diabetes? Is diabetes management different for them?
    Answer:
    According to the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report the age-adjusted percentage of African Americans aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes is 13.2.
    To learn more about diabetes and African Americans link to the resources at the
  4. We have many Hispanic/Latino employees, are they at higher risk of developing diabetes? Is diabetes management different for them?
    Answer:
    According to the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report Hispanic adults have an age-adjusted rate of diagnosed diabetes of 8.5% for Central and South Americans, 9.3% for Cubans, 13.9% for Mexican Americans, and 14.8% for Puerto Ricans.
    To learn more about diabetes and Hispanic/Latinos link to the following
  5. We have a lot of American Indian/Native Alaskan employees, are the diabetes facts different for them?
    Answer:
    According to the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report the age-adjusted percentage of American Indians and Alaskan Natives aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes is 15.9.Among American Indian and Alaska Native adults, the age-adjusted rate of diagnosed diabetes varied by region from 6.0% among Alaska Natives to 24.1% among American Indians in southern Arizona.
    To learn more about diabetes and American Indians and Alaskan Natives link to the resources at the
  6. We have a lot of Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hawaiian Native employees, are the diabetes facts different for them?
    Answer:
    According to the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report the age-adjusted percentage of Asian Americans aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes is 9.0. Among Asian American adults, the age-adjusted rate of diagnosed diabetes was 4.4% for Chinese, 11.3% for Filipinos, 13.0% for Asian Indians, and 8.8% for other Asians.
    To learn more about diabetes and Asian Americans link to the resources at the
  7. Is there a presentation that I can share at a management team meeting about the incidence and impact of diabetes?
    Answer:
    Download Diabetes Data and Statistics is a great presentation about diabetes incidence.

Do More

  1. Learn about diabetes in your community. Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Inform your colleagues about diabetes. Provide information about diabetes statistics using tools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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